‘The Big Parade’ (TV)

dad's army series 4 dvd


Please feel free to comment on my review.

In the first episode of Series 4, the ‘Dad’s Army’ platoon attempt to catch a ram as their mascot for the big parade in Walmington-on-Sea. They also find themselves in competition with Chief Warden Hodges who wants his wardens to lead the parade. Who will lead the parade? Can you guess who?

This is a good start to Series 4 of ‘Dad’s Army’. I found this episode very funny and remember watching it when my parents recorded the episode on VHS. I vividly remember the opening cinema scene with Mainwaring; Wilson; Pike and Mrs. Pike and I found it funny with Jonesy and Mrs. Fox in it.

Pamela Cundell returns as Mrs. Fox in the episode and it’s very clear that she and Jonesy are having a romantic affair whilst in the cinema. Mainwaring disapproves of course as they’re blocking his view of the cinema screen. Janet Davies as Mrs. Pike also has some canoodling with Wilson in the cinema. 😀

I also found it amusing when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team attempt to catch a ram. They fail miserably of course and Pike ends up in the bog. It was funny when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team rescue Pike out of a bog. There’s one point when they think Jones fell in. But he’s alright as he went to fetch some rope.

Colin Bean plays a prominent role as Private Sponge in the episode, since he owns a few rams on his farm when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team try to catch one. He warns Mainwaring that it won’t be easy to catch a ram and he eventually has to go flat on the ground when the team rescue Pike from the bog.

Walker eventually gets a goat for Mr. Mainwaring, but it turns out to be a pathetic little goat. It was so funny to see Mainwaring’s reaction to it as he’s infuriated with Walker for not getting him what he promised. Walker gives Mainwaring his fiver back, but it gets eaten by the little goat which was so funny.

The episode also features Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges, who feels himself so superior that he and his ARP Wardens should be leading the big parade and that Mainwaring’s men should be at the very back. Edward Sinclair guest stars as the Verger and happens to be leader of the Sea Scouts.

‘The Big Parade’ is a great ‘Dad’s Army’ episode to watch. I like how it ends when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team and the Chief Wardens are in the parade and they compete to take the lead. When the Verger takes part in the parade with his Boy Scouts, they play the band and sound so terrible on the march.

‘The Big Parade’ (TV) rating – 10/10


Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is the twelfth episode in Series 3 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. The radio version of ‘The Big Parade’ is rather unusual. In terms of an adaptation, numerous changes are made in terms of the episode’s structure, re-shifting scenes and the omission of characters. It isn’t as good as the TV version.

There’s of course Larry Martyn as Walker in the radio version of the episode. Colin Bean as Sponge is absent in the radio version. Thus his character role is given to Godfrey and Walker instead. Godfrey suggests to Mainwaring that they should all go to Mrs. Prentice’s farm from ‘All Is Safely Gathered In’.

This is to catch the ram that’s on that farm, which makes it convenient in terms of a radio adaptation without Sponge in it. Because of Sponge’s absence, Walker is forced to go flat on the ground when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team get Pike out of the bog. He’s made to go down twice and gets mud in his mouth. 😀

The scene re-shifting involves Walker showing the pathetic little goat to Mainwaring first before the ‘Dad’s Army’ team go out to catch a ram on Mrs. Prentice’s farm. Mainwaring blames Walker not getting a proper goat for the platoon as a mascot instead of blaming Sponge for chasing his dratted ram.

Bill Pertwee reprises his role as Chief Warden Hodges in the radio episode as does Edward Sinclair reprising his role as the Verger. There’s still the funny moment where the ‘Dad’s Army’ team whistle the ‘Laurel & Hardy’ tune to Hodges and the Verger can still smell the ‘horrible smell’ from the little goat. 😀

Pearl Hackney guest stars as Mr. Pike in the radio version instead of Janet Davies as in the TV version. Mollie Sugden doesn’t play Mrs. Fox in the radio version of this episode as you would expect her to. She is there with Jonesy when they’re dating at the cinema, but she doesn’t say a word. That’s peculiar.

When the ‘Dad’s Army’ team go out of the cinema, an air raid siren goes off in the radio version. That did not happen in the TV version of the episode. Mainwaring also insists that he’d speak to Jones later about his behaviour with Mrs. Fox in the cinema. John Snagg is also the newsreader at the cinema. 😀

The episode ends rather abruptly with Hodges struggling to think of a sly remark to say to the ‘Dad’s Army’ team when they’re all muddied up. We don’t have the last scene where the ‘Dad’s Army’ team and the ARP Wardens compete with each other to take the lead in ‘the big parade’ as it didn’t happen.

‘The Big Parade’ (Audio) rating – 7/10

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